If anyone has ever wondered why the bishops of The Episcopal Church carry with them a crozier as one of the symbols of their office, the reading from John's Gospel today should set to rest those wonderings. For the crozier is symbolic of a shepherd's staff with which the shepherd herded the flock of sheep. Herding, but also protecting.
He calls them all by name and leads them out Jesus says today. He also says I have other sheep who do not belong to the fold. I must bring them also, and they will listen to my voice. So there will be one flock, one shepherd. How can any church, and organization, any structural hierarchy claim exclusivity if people are following the call and voice of this welcoming Good Shepherd? How can there be such blindness?
Copyright 2008, John F. Dwyer. All Rights Reserved.